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Tech & Wearables

Week in Tech: Tacx quiets down, Zwifters go to France

This week's tech news roundup includes a new indoor smart trainer, Zwift's journey to France, a charity campaign, and a new bike tool.

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Just be quiet, Tacx!

Just in time for the winter doldrums, Tacx has pulled the lid off its updated Neo smart trainer. Meet the Neo Smart 2, the indoor training unit Tacx said is even “more silent” than the previous version. (Insert your Spinal Tap joke here.) The Neo Smart 2 is now compatible with both 142×12 and 148×12 thru-axles, but more importantly, it includes a host of new features. Pedal stroke analysis and left and right power measurement now come standard. A capacitive cadence sensor is also included in the new setup, and Tacx says it has improved the electronics for smoother, more responsive resistance control. It’s available now for $1,400.

Ride L’Etape du Tour from your own personal pain cave

Zwift is now the official training partner of L’Etape du Tour, which means you can take advantage of training plans, in-game events, special jerseys, and more so you don’t have to go all the way to France to get a taste of the ride. The L’Etape du Tour Training Club is open to the first 30,000 Zwift members who enroll. As a member of the club, you’ll be able to participate in workout plans and group workouts, and you’ll get a chance to win a starting bib for the real L’Etape event in July. Zwift memberships start at $15 a month, and you’ll need one to get in on the action.

World Bicycle Relief makes year-end push with Give Go campaign

How awesome would it be to give a bike to someone who desperately needs it? That’s exactly what World Bicycle Relief does every time it raises $147. That’s what it takes to get a Buffalo Bicycle, specifically designed for African terrain, into the hands of a student, healthcare worker, or entrepreneur who needs it. That means you’re helping a kid get to school or a mother get to work. Now through November 10, donations will be matched dollar for dollar to help get more bikes into the hands of those in need. The Give Go campaign highlights the stories of people who face distance barriers between them and education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.

Lezyne expands its tool lineup with T-Drive

The T-Drive from Lezyne features a magnetic end that holds replaceable bits in place. That means this tool is inherently versatile: make it an Allen wrench, a screwdriver, or a Torx driver simply by swapping out the bit. It comes in a soft shell carrying case with cutouts for bits, and the handle is removable for easy storage in your backpack or seat pack. It only weighs 153 grams and costs $35.